Jammu national highway . (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

Jammu, April 20 : The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday decided to partially relax the restrictions on movement of civilian traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, imposed earlier this month to enable safe movement of the security forces in the aftermath of Pulwama attack.

The state government said the decision has been taken as the requirement of security forces is now reducing because of their de-induction after polling in parts of the state.

Further, the local administration and police would examine the possibility of allowing public transport of state-run JKSRTC to move during the period of restriction on the national highway even on convoy days, a state government spokesman said.

"Government has decided to partially relax the restrictions on traffic imposed earlier," he said.

A complete review of restrictions on the highway would be done after the last phase of elections on May 6 to examine the need for continuing with them, the spokesman added.

The decision to ban civilian traffic on most part of the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway to enable safe movement of security forces was imposed with effect from April 7 and was to be in place till May 31.

The decision had been taken in the wake of ghastly February 14 suicide car bomb attack on a CRPF convoy on the highway in Pulwama district of Kashmir, in which 40 security personnel were killed.

Giving details of the relaxation, the spokesman said the restriction on civilian movement between Srinagar and Baramulla on NH-44 would now be limited only to Sunday, with effect from April 22.

Accordingly, there would be no prohibition on civilian traffic on this part of the highway on Wednesday.

The restrictions would, however, continue between Srinagar and Udhampur on NH-44 as earlier but these would be reviewed periodically and relaxation would be made as the need for restriction reduces, he said.

Even on the days of restrictions -- Sunday and Wednesday -- between Srinagar and Udhampur and on Sunday between Baramulla and Srinagar, the local administration would continue to facilitate movement of civilian traffic as has been happening in the last two weeks, the spokesman said.

"The purpose of these restrictions is in the larger interest of security of everyone," he said and appealed to the people to extend full cooperation for smooth regulation of traffic.

"The government is alive to the needs of people and inconvenience caused to them while being cognizant of the needs of security forces. The restrictions strike a balance between the two," the spokesman said.

"The restrictions will be reviewed on a real-time basis and modifications will be made as necessary in the coming days," he added.

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